I am very glad to receive and post here some very useful tips from Rafe Arnott of Vancouver, BC Canada which would be beneficial for those who are upgrading their decks.


Hi Michael, 

Just wanted to say thanks for your reference-quality hardware that I purchased. After a bit of confusion regarding the necessity to trim the thrust-bearing spring for proper tension pressure, I'm very happy to say my Rega RP1 is sounding its best yet. 

My 33.3 stainless steel dual-belt pulley, twin silicone belts and motor thrust bearing arrived a couple of days ago, but I finally had time today to undertake the upgrades. I had already swapped the stock cart - an Ortofon OM5E for a 2M Red, and replaced the 'Bakelite' platter for a Rega glass one. Two upgrades that yielded huge sonic improvements, so I was pretty stoked at how noticeable the improvement was after installing your gear. The clarity and separation of highs, mid-range depth, an expanded soundstage and punchier, tighter bass response were just a few differences I immediately heard. I've only had a chance to spin two albums today since completing the mods, so I'm looking forward to hearing a lot more detail revealed in my LPs over the months to come. 

Since I modified my TT in a different way than I've seen mentioned on your blog, and because I found there to be a few details lacking mention in any previous posts on your site, I thought I'd send along a few pics and notes that might be helpful for other TT mod newbies and future customers. 

Dual pulley, silicone belts and thrust bearing upgrades

The first image (above) shows the gear as it arrived. The second (below) shows the TT flipped over, tonearm secured, and supported by a few soft pillows while I removed the motor cover in preparation for the thrust bearing.

Removing the cover

The third image (below) shows the motor exposed and the cover removed; HINT - you only need to remove one screw all the way, as the cover can slide out either way if one screw is removed and the other loosened slightly. Putting on the thrust bearing is very straightforward once the motor housing is removed, it simply snaps into place (IMPORTANT NOTE: Prepping the thrust bearing properly is essential. I added a few drops of high-quality lubricating oil to the bearing after placing it on the spring only to find my motor now making a very audible noise upon application of the bearing - the trick is to TRIM THE BOTTOM (or angled end) OF THE SPRING between one-and-a-half and two coils with small wire cutters. I found this info nowhere, and only after emailing Michael was I appraised of this. Needless to say I was relieved when I was told of this key step! 

Cover removed

With the bearing now properly seated the only problem is that you cannot now re-attach the housing as the thrust bearing assembly is quite large, and precludes fitting the housing without either 

A) using rubber washers to raise the housing enough (which I didn't like) or 
B) just not putting the housing back on at all. I went for 
C) (fourth image, below)and drilled out the housing for the thrust bearing to poke through, thus keeping the motor properly secured and not exposed. 

TIP: To properly mark where to drill, I covered the mounted thrust bearing with a bit of scotch tape and daubed a touch of red children's paint on it. Then I aligned the motor housing. The paint on the tape accurately marking the inside of the housing, pinpointing exactly where to drill. The fifth image shows everything back together. With a little sanding I smoothed out the drill hole, and after cleaning up the cover; voila! A nice, neat solution. 

Drilling a hole on the cover

Viola! A neat, nice solution

"Hi Michael, 

Here are a few pictures and a couple tips on pulley installation for anyone who is as Rega-modification challenged as me :) 

 The first image shows the stock Rega plastic two-speed pulley removed, (I used a few drops of isopropyl alcohol to loosen the glue attaching it, and let it sit 10 mins. The pulley then came off no problem). Following the advice of a previous poster, I made a shim to help me eyeball how low to mount the the new stainless pulley. (You want to keep the lower belt from being too close to the very bottom of the sub-platter). I used a q-tip to apply a sheen of light lubricating oil to the spindle shaft and then attached the pulley with a moderate half- twist to the Allen bolt. 

Fixing the double pulley

I then carefully attached my new dual silicone belts, making sure not to stretch them, and that they were properly aligned. 

Dual pulley and silicone belts installed

Then I put the glass platter on and Rega reference felt slipmat back on, plugged the TT back in and sat back to enjoy some '57 Coltrane as I've never heard him before....

Upgraded RP1!

Rafe Arnott (Vancouver, BC Canada)'s system

I 'm currently running the RP1 into a Rega Fono Mini, a NAD 3020 and a pair of Heresy II's. Many thanks Michael, I look forward to purchasing more of your reference-quality upgrades in the near future and enjoying them for years to come.

Rafe Arnott Vancouver, BC Canada

Thanks, Rafe for sharing your tips and pictures with us!


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